Voodoo magic?

Todays blog post is by our guest blogger Jessica Large,  CrossFix Physiotherapy 

Voodoo Flossing is just one of the many techniques used to increase range of movement and mobility within a joint or area, but is also used as a method to reduce swelling of a tissue or joint.

Kelly Starret, a world-renowned physiotherapist and author of the Supple Leopard, states that in his opinion voodoo “flossing is the most powerful and effective method in restoring the range of motion and position with a joint or tissue” (Starret, 2013). However you still need to incorporate other mobility exercises such as foam rolling and resistance band exercises.

Voodoo Flossing is a compression based mobilisation method. The concept behind the method is through the re-perfusing of tissues once the band has been released.  As the rush of blood to the capillaries of the muscle/tissues helps aid recovery of that area. By restricting the blood flow it not only intensifies the stretch but alters the mechanics of the muscle that may be restricting a certain movement e.g. squat. It also adds extra load on the joint increasing the range of movement, all in all encouraging recovery and improvement. E.g if you wrap the band around your knee and perform a squat, this will load the joint and create a flexion-gapping force, restoring the joints natural sliding surfaces, which will increase your mobility by restoring the joints range of movement and improving muscle contraction and also pain, due to scar tissue being compressed and  removed within the muscle/tissue. 

 How to Floss (increase Range of movement).

  1. Start a few inches below or above the area you would like to floss (joint or muscle)
  2. As wrapping overlap the band by an inch keeping 50% tension on the band
  3. At the specific area increase the tension to 75% on the band
  4. If you have any band left create an X over the area or joint
  5. Move the joint through their range of motion, as it will allow 


As mentioned above you can also use voodoo flossing as a method to reduce swelling within a joint or muscle/tissue. By using the band to compress the area you are pushing the swelling out and into the lymphatic system, which is drained from the body.

It is important to say that this type of flossing requires a different technique, compared to the one above. 

How to Floss Swelling:

  1. Rule number 1: ALWAYS wrap towards the heart
  2. When wrapping ensure a half inch (approx) band overlap
  3. Start at the bottom of the limb, (ankle = start at the bottom of the foot) and wrap upwards
  4. Apply a 50% stretch on the band, when wrapping over the swollen area
  5. You want to cover the whole area with the band
  6. Move the ankle up towards you and to the floor

To Note when Flossing

  • It can be a little uncomfortable when the band is wrapped
  • Sometimes red marks appear once you unwrap, but that is just the blood near the top of the skin-which is fine
  • However if you get numbness, tingling or pins and needles take the band of straight away
  • Quick Safety check: touch the skin should turn white but then return to a normal colour….if it stays white take the band off 

Andy Ruddick

Rudds is Co-owner of director of training at CrossFit HG3. He is a Level 2 Olympic Weightlifting Coach, Crossfit Trainer and Personal Trainer. He also runs HG3 Kids programme from their Strength and Conditioning facility in Pannal, Harrogate.